WASHINGTON — Mitt Romney’s presidential campaign has been quietly assembling a massive, technologically sophisticated poll monitoring program that staffers believe will be their secret weapon in defeating President Barack Obama.
Project ORCA will rely on 34,000 volunteers in swing states on Election Day, in an effort to keep track of who is voting at key polling places. Romney staffers will use the data to help them target their get-out-the-vote efforts before the polls close, in hopes of gaining an edge over Obama’s grassroots operation.
Volunteers will have the Project ORCA web-based app on their smartphone. Once they log in, they will see the names and ages of every eligible voter in that precinct. When someone votes, the volunteer will simply be able to slide a bar and note it. Individuals without smartphones will be able to print a list of voters — provided by the Romney campaign — and check off individuals who come to the polling place, and then call that information into headquarters periodically.
If volunteers run into any problems — such as an incorrect voting list, broken voting machines, fraud or illegal activity — they can press a yellow button on their phone to instantly report them to the Romney campaign legal team, and staffers will be assigned to help volunteers around the country. Volunteers will also be able to send instant messages — similar to a Twitter feed or discussion board — with anecdotes about what they are seeing.
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